Tag Archives: drones

First Rain



Our small part of the world is almost perfect with last week’s rain as cotyledons break the duff and dirt, a magic time that California natives, men and beasts, eagerly anticipate. Albeit a bit early, our beginning of grass will need another rain soon, but with plenty of old feed to protect the new, that window is open longer.



My niece and family have been visiting once a month to help us deal with the Kaweah River watershed’s implementation of the Groundwater Stabilization Act, 2014 legislation designed to improve water quality and sustainability in California. As a more interesting outing, Robbin and I took them up to the Paregien ranch yesterday as we checked on our cattle.



Her husband Neal is a videographer who is always looking for room to fly his drone. Though I’ve often thought of applications for a drone on the ranch, such as checking fences and looking for missing cattle, I wasn’t quite ready for the visual reality.



Robbin’s ready to record barking dogs and other assorted cowboy sounds to help us in the gather.





The Red Tails lift and glide above me,
circling our gather within oak trees, chemise
and fractured granite that hasn’t moved

for centuries on this mountain. One of few
humans they know, I have wished
upon their wings and eye, like a falconer,

to inform, to lead me to what I can’t see
grazing peacefully. Someday, maybe—
or resort to drones to do my bidding,

watch the calving, check feed and water,
be on patrol for coyotes and bears,
instead of me. But who would we be,

streaming sci-fi cowboy poetry? Who
would ever know enough to welcome us
into this other world, their home?